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[TOKYO] Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Friday the government would accept a court-mediated settlement plan and suspend construction work for the planned relocation of a US airbase in the southern island of Okinawa.
The central government and local authorities in Okinawa have been at loggerheads over the relocation of the US Marines' Futenma airbase.
The Japanese government aims to move the base to a less populous part of the island, while Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga wants the base off the island.
Abe said the government's stance that relocating the Futenma base to the Henoko area on the island is the only option has not been changed, but that the government will suspend construction work and have dialogue with Okinawa authorities to reach an amicable solution.